Microsoft just launched the Surface Laptop Studio, a mobile version of the Surface Studio desktop computer primarily aimed at Creative users.
The most visible difference with potential competitors is how the screen goes from laptop to tablet mode, and the images below are worth a thousand words.
Having the display rest above the keyboard is an exquisite way to achieve this, in my opinion, and you don’t have keyboard keys resting on the table’s surface.
There’s also an intermediate “Tent” position that could be cool for watching movies (with quad-speakers audio), playing games, or working with a mouse and keyboard. Small magnets make sure that the display will remain in place until the user moves it again.
The display’s dual-hinge is a concept popularized by ACER in the ConceptD Ezel series, but it seems like a good idea to take this route for a Creative laptop.
The primary downside of the Surface Laptop Studio is the overall thickness. Its base does not occupy the whole width and height of the chassis, perhaps to make it appear thinner than it is, but the 18.94 mm thinness is very acceptable.
That creates an excellent opportunity to store the magnetic Surface Pen ($129.99) in a location that won’t be easily dislodged. I have not tested it, but I wonder if the shape makes it more (or less?) comfortable.
Design aside, does it have the chops to be a great Creative laptop? The mere presence of an NVIDIA RTX 3050 Ti GPU is a good sign because having a fast discrete GPU is a requirement in this category. If you need certified CAD/pro drivers, there’s an RTX A2000 SKU as well.
The CPU options are the Intel i5-11300H or i7-11370H, both of which are 35W TDP processors that are more powerful than the typical 15W+ processors used in thin and light laptops. If you have heavy multithread workloads, opt for the i7.
Thanks to the dual Thunderbolt 4 ports, you could easily create a fixed workstation with a TB dock such as the Anker PowerExpand Elite to connect more monitors and external storage.
Overall, this new Surface Laptop Studio (official page) is a good addition to the Surface Book 3 as it covers a very different use case. I suspect that it has a much better Creative experience than Surface Book 3, and for simple sketching, the new Surface Pro 8 (or an iPad Pro 12.9) could be your go-to device.